Dewberry House feasibility study (FOI)
Dewberry House feasibility study (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 26 September 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel
Government Plan 2022 - 2025
Witness: The Minister for Home Affairs
Friday, 15 October 2021
During the scrutiny meeting detailed above, the Minister for Home Affairs stated in a response to a question regarding the location of the proposed Dewberry House:
'We have a backup, so we have a backup in town if that is needed, it is one of the two last sites that we evaluated. It is not our preferred one, but it is still a possibility, so again it will all depend on what Education requires and how the whole of government decides'
In addition, at a residents meeting at St Saviour's Parish hall the representative from Jersey Property Holdings stated nine potential sites were evaluated in the pre-feasibility study.
Please publish the feasibility study or similar to help the local residents understand the decision for the final chosen site.
The requested feasibility report and appendices are attached.
Pre-Feasibility Report June 2021 Redacted.pdf
Appendices re Pre-Feasibility June 2021_Redacted (2).pdf
The exemptions detailed below have been applied to the requested information in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. The appropriate redactions have therefore been applied.
Articles 31, 33, 35 and 42 are qualified exemptions; therefore, public interest tests have been applied and are shown at the end of this response.
Article 25 - Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
Article 31 - Advice by the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or a Law Officer
Information is qualified exempt information if it is or relates to the provision of advice by the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.
Public Interest Test
The public interest in disclosing information when this article is being applied must weigh particularly heavily in favour of disclosure in order to outweigh the inherent right to privilege. It is not considered the public interest in disclosing the information is outweighed by that in maintaining the exemption, as it is designed to protect the constitutional Law Officer privilege.
Article 33 Commercial interests
Information is qualified exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes a trade secret; or
(b) its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information).
Public interest test
The release of the proposed cost details in relation to this project could potentially disadvantage the Government of Jersey’s ability to retain commercial advantage in any future contractor negotiations.
This could also result in the Government’s inability to secure best value for the taxpayer, and this will likely prejudice the Government of Jersey as its bargaining power decreases.
It is in the public interest to be made aware of any proposed costs in relation to this project However, it is considered that the likely prejudices to the Government and the taxpayer should this information be released outweigh the argument that the release is in the public interest.
Article 35 - Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Public Interest Test
In applying this article, the following considerations were taken into account.
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
- Disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place.
- Disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose.
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
- In order to best develop policy and provide advice to Ministers, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussion of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the policy development process.
- The need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a policy.
- Release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate. This could affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately.
- Premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider departmental business.
Following assessment, the Government of Jersey has concluded that, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
It should also be noted that once a policy is formulated and published, the public interest in withholding information relating to its formulation is diminished, however, the use of the exemption can be supported if it preserves sufficient freedom during the policy formulation phase to explore options without that process being hampered by some expectation of future publication.
Article 42 - Law enforcement
Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice –
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
Public Interest Test
Whilst disclosure of the information would support transparency to the general public and provide information regarding the proposed development,
The disclosure could result in a potential risk of criminal activity occurring and that this potential risk outweighs the public interest in favour of disclosure at this time.